Working to Achieve a Satisfactory Resolution
We will work with you to handle all of your issues in a sensitive manner, including custody, alimony, division of property and other matters.
Understand Alimony Rights and Responsibilities
Work with a California family law attorney to get a fair and just outcome on alimony in your divorce proceeding.
Alimony is one of those legal terms that everyone knows from television and movies (or perhaps friends or family members who have gone through divorce), but, unless they themselves have gone through the process of either obtaining or being required to pay alimony, most people do not understand how it works, when and why it is awarded, and for how long. But for many spouses divorcing in California, alimony can be an enormous financial issue with lasting implications for both parties. At Kearney | Baker, our Pasadena family law attorneys work to obtain fair and just outcomes on alimony and all other issues relating to divorce for our clients.
When Alimony / Spousal Support is Available
In California, alimony is referred to as spousal support and is meant to provide spouses with financial stability both during and after a divorce, with the goal of providing income for a less financially stable spouse. Spousal support can be agreed to by the parties through a settlement agreement or a judge may order that it be paid.
Temporary Spousal Support
A judge may award temporary spousal support at the beginning of a divorce proceeding if one spouse requests that the court award it. This award of spousal support will last only up until the time that the divorce is finalized, at which time the judge may award ongoing spousal support. For temporary spousal support, a judge will usually just look at the respective monthly incomes of both spouses (and not factor in other issues such as savings, debts, or financial need), and will often use a formula incorporating the monthly incomes to reach a temporary spousal support number.
Post-Divorce Spousal Support
As part of the finalized divorce, a judge can also award ongoing spousal support payments for either a limited duration (e.g. half the length of the marriage) or permanently. This can be an amount agreed to by the spouses or a number reached by the judge. California law requires the judge to consider the following factors in determining spousal support:
- The ability of a spouse to maintain the standard of living established through the marriage
- Whether the supported spouse contributed to the supporting spouse’s education and career training
- The supporting spouse’s earning capacity (this is different than actual income)
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The obligations and assets of each spouse
- The duration of the marriage
- The demands of raising children on each spouse
- The age and health of the spouses
- History of domestic violence between the parties
- The ability of the spouses to become self-supporting
- Any other factors the court deems just and equitable
Experienced Representation in Your California Divorce
The court has great discretion in awarding spousal support, and so it is important that you put your best argument forward and/or can negotiate a fair and just outcome that suits your needs. At Kearney | Baker, our Pasadena family law attorneys have 60 years of combined experience in reaching positive outcomes on behalf of our clients in divorce matters. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your circumstances.